Santa is scary

Friday, December 21, 2012

I am scared of lots of things.  Snakes.  Rodents.  Horror movies.  Death metal bands.

I realize that I'm a chicken.

I am not scared of Santa.  But I do have the requisite "terrified of Santa" picture in the family photo archives. I am not organized enough to have it scanned to include, but stay tuned.  I'll dig it up before the new year.  It's a gem.

The other day, Jack was scared of Santa.  He thought this crazy deal that I had dragged him to was less than awesome.  We waited in line.  Why was Momma making him wait in line?

To sit on the lap of a stranger?  Oh, hell no.  Commence whining, screaming, wailing, and clinging to the Momma like we were super glued together.  Sigh.  

Because I am in charge of what I post here, I only post good pictures.  Not works of art, but I keep it flattering.  It's editorial privilege or common sense or something.

But in the name of honesty, I will share with you a picture that is less than good.  Honestly, this is the best we came up with.

Several disclaimers:
-- I did NOT want to be in this picture.
-- Jack would not let go of me.
-- We had waited over an hour in line.  (Don't ask.)
-- I had become irrationally committed to getting a PICTURE WITH SANTA, DAMMIT.
-- Therefore, I was forced to be in the picture.

Okay, enough already.  Here.


Wishing you a mediocre/scary/less than enthusiastic Christmas?  There were so many caption options that I just left it open.

Here's hoping your day has a fair amount of enthusiasm.

Talk soon,
Heather

lollipops

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

On Halloween, Jack ate a blue lollipop and turned his face a ghastly shade of boo-berry.

He doesn't forget a thing, this kid.  

He has started asking for lollipops for breakfast.

"Jack, we don't have lollipops for breakfast."

He asks for lollipops after school.

"Jack, we're about to eat dinner.  You can have a lollipop for dessert."

The other night, I promised him that he could have a lollipop of he ate a good amount of his dinner, which happened to be at a local tavern type of place near us that we probably won't return to.  (Despite the fact that they have truffle fries and you can get fried eggs on lots of things, it was not the decadent culinary escape we had hoped.)

Well, it wasn't to us, anyway.  As negotiated, Jack ate enough of his dinner that he was allowed to have a lollipop.

Currently, the enjoyment of a lollipop involves three very important stages.

Stage 1:  Pose for the picture.


Stage 2:  Contemplate the lollipop.


Stage 3:  We've waited long enough!  Go go go!


On the way to the car after, we had this conversation:

"Jack, did you have fun at dinner?"

"Yup."

"What was your favorite part?"

"Um, my lollipop."

"I'm sure it was.  Pretty good, huh?"

"Yup."

[End scene.]

Hope you can contemplate something delicious today.

Talk soon,
Heather

everybody poops, you know

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

And thanks to the superb guidance of his teachers, Miss T and Miss D, Jack now does so in the potty.  As of yesterday. 

(If you think this is TMI, you're right.  But if you think this is TMI, you're not a parent.  Because poop makes the world go round, people.)

They were so excited that they gave him not one, but two, prizes from the Prize Box.

And then took this picture, which is worth at least a million words.


Hoping this moment of levity raised your spirits today.  If not, a lizard and a box of temporary tattoos might do the trick.

Talk soon,
Heather

faith

Monday, December 17, 2012


Hoping for faith and light today.

Talk soon,
Heather

early Christmas, part three

Friday, December 14, 2012

Three is my max for multiple-part posts, in case you were wondering.  

(I mean, how many posts can she squeeze out of one weekend?)

The answer is a super lot, but I limit myself to three.  Promise.

So, my father in law is an excellent cook.  (Durel the Elder.  That sounds so Lord of the Rings, doesn't it?  In real life, we call him PapaDu.)  For Christmas this year, PapaDu made Gruyere popovers.  Behold.


I took a picture through the glass of the oven door, my love of bread and cheese is so deep.  They were awesome.

PapaDu also let Jack help him open presents.  Jack wore the requisite bow on his head, originated by my family. (The Irish Clan Davies, of the wine drinking, potato eating, and bow wearing.)


Also, Jack made it clear that he would like to be a pirate when he grows up.  Or now.  Whichever.


I hope your chosen career path also involves a boat and snazzy head wear.

Talk soon,
Heather

my heart

Thursday, December 13, 2012


I'm not sure if I read this quote or made it up.

To have a child is to know what it feels like to have your heart walking around outside of your body.

Regardless, it's true.  And it's the first thing that came to mind when I saw this picture.

*  *  *

Jack's Aunt Kristin gave him a flashlight when we saw her recently in Louisiana.  It has become His Favorite Thing Ever.  The other night, he shone the flashlight up through the banister of the stairs, which is currently wrapped with evergreen garland.  

When he saw the resulting shadow, he got super excited.  

"Momma! It's a shadow!  I made a shadow!"

I came to look and appreciate it.  

"Yes, Jack!  That is awesome!"

"Momma, it's for Peter Pan!"

OK.  Hold the phone.  My heart literally burst into one thousand pieces.  Where he got this, I have no idea.  But I knew just what he meant.  He meant this:


This kid.  He has the heart of a poet.  I'm not even kidding.

Hope your day has some unexpected poetry in it.

Talk soon,
Heather

early Christmas, part two

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I was bragging recently that I grew up in a place with four distinct seasons.

In Texas, you see, that's at least noteworthy, if not something to brag about.

Last weekend, during our early Christmas, our little family took a walk.  It was awesome.  It was warm.


From time to time, I miss things.  Like, oh, wearing wool sweaters.  The smell in the air that happens right before it snows.  Cashmere scarves.  Making snow angels.  (And/or watching the fog roll in over the Golden Gate Bridge.  Because if you're watching fog in San Francisco, there are no snow angels.  It's all a series of trade-offs.)

But then, it's almost Christmas and I'm wearing flip flops.  And Jack is finding rock treasures on our walk and having so much fun.



And then I don't mind at all.  Trade off, shmade off.

Hope you don't mind stuff today.

Talk soon,
Heather

early Christmas, part one

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

We celebrated Christmas last weekend.  On purpose.  Early.

No, it's not because I get so DIALED UP to give out presents that I just forced the issue.  Nope.  

In fact, it was because Dustin and Geri are about to move back to Houston from Austin (sniff sniff) and we needed to get together before they were lost in paper and boxes, or better yet, playing caravan with the moving truck.

(Yes, I am aware that Houston is very close to Austin and is not, in fact, on the moon.)

But anyway, we told Jack that it was Christmas and he thought that was GREAT.

It looked like Christmas, after all.


It tasted like Christmas, even.  I had made cookies for the occasion.  Chocolate cookies with peppermint patties inside, to be specific.  I found the recipe on Two Peas and Their Pod.  Deeelish.


And so, sure enough, it was Christmas.

The first order of business on Saturday was Jack's stocking.  I'm not sure why, other than that between Durel, his mom, and I, we really couldn't wait to start giving Jack presents.  And the stocking seems, well, innocent enough to start with.  

Inside, young sir found a new pair of boots and a brand new slinky.  It is important to wear one's pajamas when trying on new boots.  And it is best to wear one's newest boots when examining a new slinky.


I'm not good at math, but it worked something like this:  Slinky = joy.


Well, let me clarify.  Slinky = joy for Jack, and for us watching him.  But if I show you the full picture that I took here, you might spy some family members who were a little less enthused about it all.


I mean, Lucy got over it because she was soon in Pupperoni heaven.  (She has a stocking, too.)  And Bunny is never set aside for long, so he was happy soon enough.  (Though he had pirate goodies to reckon with, as well.  More on that later.)

So, you know, a good time was had by all.

Hope everyone is happy where you are today.

Talk soon,
Heather

you said you had plural trees, right?

Monday, December 10, 2012

I did say that.

In the future, I envision Jack having a little Christmas tree in his room.  For now though, I don't think he's quite ready for that.  So, in the mean time, we have a second tree by our back door.

It's thematic.  It represents two of our favorite things.  Food and the New Orleans Saints.

In New Orleans, you eat a lot of good food.

In our house, we eat a lot of good food.

In our house, we watch a lot of football.  (I use the term "we" loosely.  I have mastered the ability to block out the sounds of football while being thoroughly engrossed in the latest issue of Us Weekly or madly pinning things on Pinterest.)

So, it makes perfect sense.  See?


Hope you have lots of the things you love today.

Talk soon,
Heather

boys and trees

Friday, December 7, 2012

We don't mess around at our house.  We put our Christmas trees (plural) up more than a week ago.  They are artificial, so we don't have to worry about them drying out and becoming dangerous.  And, quite frankly, Christmas trees are high on my list of favorite things.

Luckily for me, my boys also like their trees.  And their lights.

It's very serious business to put them on the tree, you know.  They must be evenly distributed.


That doesn't mean you shouldn't have fun while you work!


 That also doesn't mean that you can't take a break and stick a light or two *almost* in your eye.


And when you're done, you should stand back and admire your handiwork.  And feel the spirit of the season!


I love my guys.  I love our trees.  And I love Christmas.

Hope you're feeling it today, too.

Talk soon,
Heather

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Except it's still hovering between 70 and 80 degrees here in Austin.

I love Austin and I love 80 degree weather, don't get me wrong.

But it's December.

And, believe it or not, I went to college here:

Bates College, Lewiston Maine

Meaning:  To me, December is supposed to be cold.  Scarf weather.  Frostbite weather, even.

And yet, I wear flip flops on the daily.

Unfazed by his mother's meteorological struggle, Jack is working on his toilet paper roll reindeer decoration.



Kid's got the holiday spirit, alright.

Hope you get to paint something today.

Talk soon,
Heather

football season, then and now

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I'm not a big fan of football season.

To me, its only redeeming quality is that it's an excuse to make delicious appetizers from Pinterest.  And that the weather is usually cooler.  And that if you want to hang out on the couch, that's totally acceptable.

Durel is, quite obviously, a Saints fan.  I am pretty sure this means that Jack is one, too.  

In fact, I have proof that Jack is evolving into *quite* the Saints fan.  Watch this:

Last year:


This year:



Now accepting all metaphors for HOW QUICKLY TIME IS FLYING.

Hope your day has a cool Brees in it.  Mine sure does.

Talk soon,
Heather

giving thanks

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A lot of my friends have taken on the project of being thankful for something specific for each day in November.  And while my inner snark wants to hate on this practice, my inner sap thinks it's pretty awesome.

Enter, the age-old snark v. sap debate.

Here's my compromise.  With my recap of our fantastical Thanksgiving, a smattering of things for which I am immensely grateful.


1.  That awesome turkey, and the accompanying feast.
Because seriously, we had roast turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, candied sweet potatoes, spinach and cheese stuff, green bean casserole, oyster dressing, cheesy noodle casserole, and peas.  Oh, and pumpkin pie, chocolate pecan pie, and coconut custard pie.


2.  Our beautiful new home, and the fact that it was full of our family.  (And vintage turkey candles, natch.)

3.  A chance to use the fancy china and silver.  Because those are rare.


4.  Generations.


5.  An entire long weekend to soak up awesome family time.  (And to eat spiced chocolate creme brulee while doing so.)


6.  Watching Jack with his family.  Including his Uncle Dagwood, who is giving Uncle Dustin a run for his money on the title of Favorite Person Alive.



7.  Pet love.  Schatzi came all the way to Austin from Albuquerque to share her furrowed brow and cuteness with Pablo and Lucy.  There was some butt-sniffing and backyard patrolling.  And they loved it.

Yup, I have a lot to be thankful for.  Hope you do, too.

Talk soon,
Heather

update

Friday, November 16, 2012

A few things that I'd like to share (and remember) about this time in Jack's life.

-- We're almost finished potty training.  Jack will loudly announce when he has to go to the bathroom.  And as parents have done through the history of, well, indoor plumbing, as soon as he says he has to go, we are up and on our way.  This is one thing you don't delay.

-- Jack has discovered teddy grahams.  He likes them as an end of day snack.  

-- Jack and I went out for a jog the other day.  He enthusiastically oohed and aahed as we went up and down hills and around corners.  When we got home, he shouted triumphantly, "We made it!!!"  (I didn't realize there was a chance that we wouldn't.)

-- Jack's new favorite show is Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  This is not my new favorite show.  And if the TV "breaks" and starts showing more episodes of Sesame Street and Dinosaur Train?  How weird would that be?

Me:   Jack, do you know what day it is?
J:       NOVEMBER!
Me:   That's right, it is November.  But, do you know what day of the week it is?
J:       THANKSGIVING!
Me:   Well, yes, it's almost Thanksgiving.  But today is Wednesday.  Did you know that?
J:       No, it's not Wednesday.

-- New favorite pastime?  Petting and praising the dogs.  And giving them treats.  

-- Old favorite pastime?


Hope your day has old and new pastimes in it.

Talk soon,
Heather

he's a good eater

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Jack likes to eat.

He still eats three breakfasts per day.  He's been doing that since he was about 13 months old.  He eats once at home (usually Cheerios or a waffle).  He eats "second breakfast" when he gets to school (lately, raisins and/or applesauce).  He eats the breakfast that he is served at school.  That's three, folks.

So, in terms of frequency, we are clearly on the high end of the eating scale.  We are also on the high end of the diversity scale.  While Jack's not quite on the Mikey level of eating anything, he has what I like to think of as an adventurous palate.

I'm dating myself here.  But come on.  You remember Mikey.
He likes Pad Thai.  Seaweed salad.  Sushi (heavy on the rice).  Brisket.  Corn on the cob.  Pho.  Peaches.  CHEESE.  Vegetables.  And, the latest entry to this list:  Pasta Carbonara.

We naively ordered him chicken nuggets and fries.  Which were fine until he decided that he'd rather try what Durel was eating.  At which point, he proceeded to eat as much of Durel's dinner as he could.  As quickly as he could.



Note:  The ever-patient Bunny is serving as a headrest to his booster seat.

So, you know, that happened.

Hope you have a delicious dinner this evening.

Talk soon,
Heather

good friends are not like balloons

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

When we were in New Orleans recently for Aunt Rinnie's wedding, we did what we always do when we are in New Orleans.  

We crashed the home of our lovely friends, Bryan and Amy.  We made them put us up overnight.  We ate their food.  We drank their beer and wine.  And we had a great time.

Bryan and Durel have been friends since high school.  Amy and I have been friends since we met in, oh, 2002?  They have two adorable kiddos, Luke and Lucy.  We, of course, have Jack Attack.

Here's a snippet of how much fun we had.

Clockwise, from left:  Balloons.  Pedreaux the Wonder Weimeraner; Lucy; Jack and Lucy love lollipops.
Balloons are fun but they don't last long.  You have to hold onto them or they'll fly away.  You have to be careful with them or they'll pop.  Good friends aren't like that.  You can crash their homes once every year or two and make yourselves completely (and I mean completely) at home, and it's all good.

Thanks, guys.  You rock.

Hope someone gives you a lollipop today.

Talk soon,
Heather

barbecue makes it better

Monday, November 12, 2012

A few months ago, Jack was a little bit off-kilter one Sunday.  He seemed cranky, rumpled, and generally discombobulated.

I mean, Durel and I both certainly have days like that, but we blame it on the tribulations of adulthood.  We don't generally see that, or expect that, from our feisty little ray of sunshine.

Lounging wasn't doing the trick, really.  Napping didn't fix what ailed him.  So, I decided that a quick trip  out, somewhere, would help.

We ended up at Rudy's.  We shared some brisket, some white bread, and some root beer.


Wouldn't you know?  It perked us both up considerably.

I know it's Monday and all.  Hope nothing discombobulates you today.

Talk soon,
Heather

halloween, redux

Friday, November 9, 2012

Though Durel and Jack and I were robbed of winning the costume prize at his school, we still had a totally awesome Halloween.  I know it's November, which is why I am hurrying to share the rest of these (unmissable) pictures before moving on to things like, oh, trips to New Orleans and Thanksgiving. 

Eek! Thanksgiving!  I'm brining the bird.  That's all I'll say at the moment.

Jack and his best bud took the neighborhood by storm.  Between Captain America and Captain Jack, who is going to say no?  In fact, you will note that people were leaving bowls of candy out for this awesome duo!


Victory was theirs.  It took the form of lollipops.


Said blue lollipop left Jack's face looking a little ghoulish.  All in the spirit of the holiday, as they say.


And, because I am a nerd, I also had to do this to this precious photo of my guy's expression.


Hope your day is not at all spooky.  It is November, after all.

Talk soon,
Heather

let them eat (empanadas and) cake

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Last night, my lovely parents took Jack and I out to dinner to belatedly celebrate my birthday.  (Durel had a work event.  He works hard, people.)

I chose to go to Buenos Aires, which is rapidly becoming one of my favorite restaurants in Austin.  Because the food is delicious and because JACK LOVES IT.  Any restaurant where a 2 1/2 year old consistently behaves will jet to the top of the parents' favorites list.  Mark my words.

Also, I love empanadas.  And Argentinian Malbec.  So, it's a no brainer for other reasons, as well.

They often have live music, and they did last night.  It was beautiful.  All instrumental, Argentinian, and lovely.  

Jack devoured his empanadas, some fries, some broccoli, and then cozied up in his chair to watch the music.

Note:  Bunny as fellow music aficionado and pillow.

After a while, Jack turned his full attention on the adorable cupcake that my mom (his Grammy) had brought for him.  I've planned my menu for Thanksgiving, and he had a turkey cupcake. 

Note:  Jack's hair is totally wild about 90% of the time.

It is November, and all is right in the world.

Hope you are thankful, too.

Talk soon,
Heather

laissez les bon temps rouler

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

We did it.  We went to New Orleans.  Aunt Rinnie got all married and stuff.  Jack wore his tuxedo.  I had a birthday.  We are home again.

We're also utterly exhausted, so for right this second, I will share this and save my words for tomorrow.


Hope you had some good times this weekend, too!

Talk soon,
Heather

Happy Halloween, Maties!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

From the Pirates Bernaaaaaaaaaaaard, of course.

Daddy, you're Captain Hook!
I'm Mr. Smee!
Totally.



Mama, you're a princess.  (OK. I'll take it.)

Aaargh, maties! (Note the Pirate Bunny.  Very fierce.)
In related news, I bought the good candy.  I have my priorities straight.

Hope no one makes you walk the plank today.

Talk soon,
First Mate Heather

Friday, December 21, 2012

Santa is scary

I am scared of lots of things.  Snakes.  Rodents.  Horror movies.  Death metal bands.

I realize that I'm a chicken.

I am not scared of Santa.  But I do have the requisite "terrified of Santa" picture in the family photo archives. I am not organized enough to have it scanned to include, but stay tuned.  I'll dig it up before the new year.  It's a gem.

The other day, Jack was scared of Santa.  He thought this crazy deal that I had dragged him to was less than awesome.  We waited in line.  Why was Momma making him wait in line?

To sit on the lap of a stranger?  Oh, hell no.  Commence whining, screaming, wailing, and clinging to the Momma like we were super glued together.  Sigh.  

Because I am in charge of what I post here, I only post good pictures.  Not works of art, but I keep it flattering.  It's editorial privilege or common sense or something.

But in the name of honesty, I will share with you a picture that is less than good.  Honestly, this is the best we came up with.

Several disclaimers:
-- I did NOT want to be in this picture.
-- Jack would not let go of me.
-- We had waited over an hour in line.  (Don't ask.)
-- I had become irrationally committed to getting a PICTURE WITH SANTA, DAMMIT.
-- Therefore, I was forced to be in the picture.

Okay, enough already.  Here.


Wishing you a mediocre/scary/less than enthusiastic Christmas?  There were so many caption options that I just left it open.

Here's hoping your day has a fair amount of enthusiasm.

Talk soon,
Heather

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

lollipops

On Halloween, Jack ate a blue lollipop and turned his face a ghastly shade of boo-berry.

He doesn't forget a thing, this kid.  

He has started asking for lollipops for breakfast.

"Jack, we don't have lollipops for breakfast."

He asks for lollipops after school.

"Jack, we're about to eat dinner.  You can have a lollipop for dessert."

The other night, I promised him that he could have a lollipop of he ate a good amount of his dinner, which happened to be at a local tavern type of place near us that we probably won't return to.  (Despite the fact that they have truffle fries and you can get fried eggs on lots of things, it was not the decadent culinary escape we had hoped.)

Well, it wasn't to us, anyway.  As negotiated, Jack ate enough of his dinner that he was allowed to have a lollipop.

Currently, the enjoyment of a lollipop involves three very important stages.

Stage 1:  Pose for the picture.


Stage 2:  Contemplate the lollipop.


Stage 3:  We've waited long enough!  Go go go!


On the way to the car after, we had this conversation:

"Jack, did you have fun at dinner?"

"Yup."

"What was your favorite part?"

"Um, my lollipop."

"I'm sure it was.  Pretty good, huh?"

"Yup."

[End scene.]

Hope you can contemplate something delicious today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

everybody poops, you know

And thanks to the superb guidance of his teachers, Miss T and Miss D, Jack now does so in the potty.  As of yesterday. 

(If you think this is TMI, you're right.  But if you think this is TMI, you're not a parent.  Because poop makes the world go round, people.)

They were so excited that they gave him not one, but two, prizes from the Prize Box.

And then took this picture, which is worth at least a million words.


Hoping this moment of levity raised your spirits today.  If not, a lizard and a box of temporary tattoos might do the trick.

Talk soon,
Heather

Monday, December 17, 2012

faith


Hoping for faith and light today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Friday, December 14, 2012

early Christmas, part three

Three is my max for multiple-part posts, in case you were wondering.  

(I mean, how many posts can she squeeze out of one weekend?)

The answer is a super lot, but I limit myself to three.  Promise.

So, my father in law is an excellent cook.  (Durel the Elder.  That sounds so Lord of the Rings, doesn't it?  In real life, we call him PapaDu.)  For Christmas this year, PapaDu made Gruyere popovers.  Behold.


I took a picture through the glass of the oven door, my love of bread and cheese is so deep.  They were awesome.

PapaDu also let Jack help him open presents.  Jack wore the requisite bow on his head, originated by my family. (The Irish Clan Davies, of the wine drinking, potato eating, and bow wearing.)


Also, Jack made it clear that he would like to be a pirate when he grows up.  Or now.  Whichever.


I hope your chosen career path also involves a boat and snazzy head wear.

Talk soon,
Heather

Thursday, December 13, 2012

my heart


I'm not sure if I read this quote or made it up.

To have a child is to know what it feels like to have your heart walking around outside of your body.

Regardless, it's true.  And it's the first thing that came to mind when I saw this picture.

*  *  *

Jack's Aunt Kristin gave him a flashlight when we saw her recently in Louisiana.  It has become His Favorite Thing Ever.  The other night, he shone the flashlight up through the banister of the stairs, which is currently wrapped with evergreen garland.  

When he saw the resulting shadow, he got super excited.  

"Momma! It's a shadow!  I made a shadow!"

I came to look and appreciate it.  

"Yes, Jack!  That is awesome!"

"Momma, it's for Peter Pan!"

OK.  Hold the phone.  My heart literally burst into one thousand pieces.  Where he got this, I have no idea.  But I knew just what he meant.  He meant this:


This kid.  He has the heart of a poet.  I'm not even kidding.

Hope your day has some unexpected poetry in it.

Talk soon,
Heather

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

early Christmas, part two

I was bragging recently that I grew up in a place with four distinct seasons.

In Texas, you see, that's at least noteworthy, if not something to brag about.

Last weekend, during our early Christmas, our little family took a walk.  It was awesome.  It was warm.


From time to time, I miss things.  Like, oh, wearing wool sweaters.  The smell in the air that happens right before it snows.  Cashmere scarves.  Making snow angels.  (And/or watching the fog roll in over the Golden Gate Bridge.  Because if you're watching fog in San Francisco, there are no snow angels.  It's all a series of trade-offs.)

But then, it's almost Christmas and I'm wearing flip flops.  And Jack is finding rock treasures on our walk and having so much fun.



And then I don't mind at all.  Trade off, shmade off.

Hope you don't mind stuff today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

early Christmas, part one

We celebrated Christmas last weekend.  On purpose.  Early.

No, it's not because I get so DIALED UP to give out presents that I just forced the issue.  Nope.  

In fact, it was because Dustin and Geri are about to move back to Houston from Austin (sniff sniff) and we needed to get together before they were lost in paper and boxes, or better yet, playing caravan with the moving truck.

(Yes, I am aware that Houston is very close to Austin and is not, in fact, on the moon.)

But anyway, we told Jack that it was Christmas and he thought that was GREAT.

It looked like Christmas, after all.


It tasted like Christmas, even.  I had made cookies for the occasion.  Chocolate cookies with peppermint patties inside, to be specific.  I found the recipe on Two Peas and Their Pod.  Deeelish.


And so, sure enough, it was Christmas.

The first order of business on Saturday was Jack's stocking.  I'm not sure why, other than that between Durel, his mom, and I, we really couldn't wait to start giving Jack presents.  And the stocking seems, well, innocent enough to start with.  

Inside, young sir found a new pair of boots and a brand new slinky.  It is important to wear one's pajamas when trying on new boots.  And it is best to wear one's newest boots when examining a new slinky.


I'm not good at math, but it worked something like this:  Slinky = joy.


Well, let me clarify.  Slinky = joy for Jack, and for us watching him.  But if I show you the full picture that I took here, you might spy some family members who were a little less enthused about it all.


I mean, Lucy got over it because she was soon in Pupperoni heaven.  (She has a stocking, too.)  And Bunny is never set aside for long, so he was happy soon enough.  (Though he had pirate goodies to reckon with, as well.  More on that later.)

So, you know, a good time was had by all.

Hope everyone is happy where you are today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Monday, December 10, 2012

you said you had plural trees, right?

I did say that.

In the future, I envision Jack having a little Christmas tree in his room.  For now though, I don't think he's quite ready for that.  So, in the mean time, we have a second tree by our back door.

It's thematic.  It represents two of our favorite things.  Food and the New Orleans Saints.

In New Orleans, you eat a lot of good food.

In our house, we eat a lot of good food.

In our house, we watch a lot of football.  (I use the term "we" loosely.  I have mastered the ability to block out the sounds of football while being thoroughly engrossed in the latest issue of Us Weekly or madly pinning things on Pinterest.)

So, it makes perfect sense.  See?


Hope you have lots of the things you love today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Friday, December 7, 2012

boys and trees

We don't mess around at our house.  We put our Christmas trees (plural) up more than a week ago.  They are artificial, so we don't have to worry about them drying out and becoming dangerous.  And, quite frankly, Christmas trees are high on my list of favorite things.

Luckily for me, my boys also like their trees.  And their lights.

It's very serious business to put them on the tree, you know.  They must be evenly distributed.


That doesn't mean you shouldn't have fun while you work!


 That also doesn't mean that you can't take a break and stick a light or two *almost* in your eye.


And when you're done, you should stand back and admire your handiwork.  And feel the spirit of the season!


I love my guys.  I love our trees.  And I love Christmas.

Hope you're feeling it today, too.

Talk soon,
Heather

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas

Except it's still hovering between 70 and 80 degrees here in Austin.

I love Austin and I love 80 degree weather, don't get me wrong.

But it's December.

And, believe it or not, I went to college here:

Bates College, Lewiston Maine

Meaning:  To me, December is supposed to be cold.  Scarf weather.  Frostbite weather, even.

And yet, I wear flip flops on the daily.

Unfazed by his mother's meteorological struggle, Jack is working on his toilet paper roll reindeer decoration.



Kid's got the holiday spirit, alright.

Hope you get to paint something today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

football season, then and now

I'm not a big fan of football season.

To me, its only redeeming quality is that it's an excuse to make delicious appetizers from Pinterest.  And that the weather is usually cooler.  And that if you want to hang out on the couch, that's totally acceptable.

Durel is, quite obviously, a Saints fan.  I am pretty sure this means that Jack is one, too.  

In fact, I have proof that Jack is evolving into *quite* the Saints fan.  Watch this:

Last year:


This year:



Now accepting all metaphors for HOW QUICKLY TIME IS FLYING.

Hope your day has a cool Brees in it.  Mine sure does.

Talk soon,
Heather

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

giving thanks

A lot of my friends have taken on the project of being thankful for something specific for each day in November.  And while my inner snark wants to hate on this practice, my inner sap thinks it's pretty awesome.

Enter, the age-old snark v. sap debate.

Here's my compromise.  With my recap of our fantastical Thanksgiving, a smattering of things for which I am immensely grateful.


1.  That awesome turkey, and the accompanying feast.
Because seriously, we had roast turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, candied sweet potatoes, spinach and cheese stuff, green bean casserole, oyster dressing, cheesy noodle casserole, and peas.  Oh, and pumpkin pie, chocolate pecan pie, and coconut custard pie.


2.  Our beautiful new home, and the fact that it was full of our family.  (And vintage turkey candles, natch.)

3.  A chance to use the fancy china and silver.  Because those are rare.


4.  Generations.


5.  An entire long weekend to soak up awesome family time.  (And to eat spiced chocolate creme brulee while doing so.)


6.  Watching Jack with his family.  Including his Uncle Dagwood, who is giving Uncle Dustin a run for his money on the title of Favorite Person Alive.



7.  Pet love.  Schatzi came all the way to Austin from Albuquerque to share her furrowed brow and cuteness with Pablo and Lucy.  There was some butt-sniffing and backyard patrolling.  And they loved it.

Yup, I have a lot to be thankful for.  Hope you do, too.

Talk soon,
Heather

Friday, November 16, 2012

update

A few things that I'd like to share (and remember) about this time in Jack's life.

-- We're almost finished potty training.  Jack will loudly announce when he has to go to the bathroom.  And as parents have done through the history of, well, indoor plumbing, as soon as he says he has to go, we are up and on our way.  This is one thing you don't delay.

-- Jack has discovered teddy grahams.  He likes them as an end of day snack.  

-- Jack and I went out for a jog the other day.  He enthusiastically oohed and aahed as we went up and down hills and around corners.  When we got home, he shouted triumphantly, "We made it!!!"  (I didn't realize there was a chance that we wouldn't.)

-- Jack's new favorite show is Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  This is not my new favorite show.  And if the TV "breaks" and starts showing more episodes of Sesame Street and Dinosaur Train?  How weird would that be?

Me:   Jack, do you know what day it is?
J:       NOVEMBER!
Me:   That's right, it is November.  But, do you know what day of the week it is?
J:       THANKSGIVING!
Me:   Well, yes, it's almost Thanksgiving.  But today is Wednesday.  Did you know that?
J:       No, it's not Wednesday.

-- New favorite pastime?  Petting and praising the dogs.  And giving them treats.  

-- Old favorite pastime?


Hope your day has old and new pastimes in it.

Talk soon,
Heather

Thursday, November 15, 2012

he's a good eater

Jack likes to eat.

He still eats three breakfasts per day.  He's been doing that since he was about 13 months old.  He eats once at home (usually Cheerios or a waffle).  He eats "second breakfast" when he gets to school (lately, raisins and/or applesauce).  He eats the breakfast that he is served at school.  That's three, folks.

So, in terms of frequency, we are clearly on the high end of the eating scale.  We are also on the high end of the diversity scale.  While Jack's not quite on the Mikey level of eating anything, he has what I like to think of as an adventurous palate.

I'm dating myself here.  But come on.  You remember Mikey.
He likes Pad Thai.  Seaweed salad.  Sushi (heavy on the rice).  Brisket.  Corn on the cob.  Pho.  Peaches.  CHEESE.  Vegetables.  And, the latest entry to this list:  Pasta Carbonara.

We naively ordered him chicken nuggets and fries.  Which were fine until he decided that he'd rather try what Durel was eating.  At which point, he proceeded to eat as much of Durel's dinner as he could.  As quickly as he could.



Note:  The ever-patient Bunny is serving as a headrest to his booster seat.

So, you know, that happened.

Hope you have a delicious dinner this evening.

Talk soon,
Heather

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

good friends are not like balloons

When we were in New Orleans recently for Aunt Rinnie's wedding, we did what we always do when we are in New Orleans.  

We crashed the home of our lovely friends, Bryan and Amy.  We made them put us up overnight.  We ate their food.  We drank their beer and wine.  And we had a great time.

Bryan and Durel have been friends since high school.  Amy and I have been friends since we met in, oh, 2002?  They have two adorable kiddos, Luke and Lucy.  We, of course, have Jack Attack.

Here's a snippet of how much fun we had.

Clockwise, from left:  Balloons.  Pedreaux the Wonder Weimeraner; Lucy; Jack and Lucy love lollipops.
Balloons are fun but they don't last long.  You have to hold onto them or they'll fly away.  You have to be careful with them or they'll pop.  Good friends aren't like that.  You can crash their homes once every year or two and make yourselves completely (and I mean completely) at home, and it's all good.

Thanks, guys.  You rock.

Hope someone gives you a lollipop today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Monday, November 12, 2012

barbecue makes it better

A few months ago, Jack was a little bit off-kilter one Sunday.  He seemed cranky, rumpled, and generally discombobulated.

I mean, Durel and I both certainly have days like that, but we blame it on the tribulations of adulthood.  We don't generally see that, or expect that, from our feisty little ray of sunshine.

Lounging wasn't doing the trick, really.  Napping didn't fix what ailed him.  So, I decided that a quick trip  out, somewhere, would help.

We ended up at Rudy's.  We shared some brisket, some white bread, and some root beer.


Wouldn't you know?  It perked us both up considerably.

I know it's Monday and all.  Hope nothing discombobulates you today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Friday, November 9, 2012

halloween, redux

Though Durel and Jack and I were robbed of winning the costume prize at his school, we still had a totally awesome Halloween.  I know it's November, which is why I am hurrying to share the rest of these (unmissable) pictures before moving on to things like, oh, trips to New Orleans and Thanksgiving. 

Eek! Thanksgiving!  I'm brining the bird.  That's all I'll say at the moment.

Jack and his best bud took the neighborhood by storm.  Between Captain America and Captain Jack, who is going to say no?  In fact, you will note that people were leaving bowls of candy out for this awesome duo!


Victory was theirs.  It took the form of lollipops.


Said blue lollipop left Jack's face looking a little ghoulish.  All in the spirit of the holiday, as they say.


And, because I am a nerd, I also had to do this to this precious photo of my guy's expression.


Hope your day is not at all spooky.  It is November, after all.

Talk soon,
Heather

Thursday, November 8, 2012

let them eat (empanadas and) cake

Last night, my lovely parents took Jack and I out to dinner to belatedly celebrate my birthday.  (Durel had a work event.  He works hard, people.)

I chose to go to Buenos Aires, which is rapidly becoming one of my favorite restaurants in Austin.  Because the food is delicious and because JACK LOVES IT.  Any restaurant where a 2 1/2 year old consistently behaves will jet to the top of the parents' favorites list.  Mark my words.

Also, I love empanadas.  And Argentinian Malbec.  So, it's a no brainer for other reasons, as well.

They often have live music, and they did last night.  It was beautiful.  All instrumental, Argentinian, and lovely.  

Jack devoured his empanadas, some fries, some broccoli, and then cozied up in his chair to watch the music.

Note:  Bunny as fellow music aficionado and pillow.

After a while, Jack turned his full attention on the adorable cupcake that my mom (his Grammy) had brought for him.  I've planned my menu for Thanksgiving, and he had a turkey cupcake. 

Note:  Jack's hair is totally wild about 90% of the time.

It is November, and all is right in the world.

Hope you are thankful, too.

Talk soon,
Heather

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

laissez les bon temps rouler

We did it.  We went to New Orleans.  Aunt Rinnie got all married and stuff.  Jack wore his tuxedo.  I had a birthday.  We are home again.

We're also utterly exhausted, so for right this second, I will share this and save my words for tomorrow.


Hope you had some good times this weekend, too!

Talk soon,
Heather

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween, Maties!

From the Pirates Bernaaaaaaaaaaaard, of course.

Daddy, you're Captain Hook!
I'm Mr. Smee!
Totally.



Mama, you're a princess.  (OK. I'll take it.)

Aaargh, maties! (Note the Pirate Bunny.  Very fierce.)
In related news, I bought the good candy.  I have my priorities straight.

Hope no one makes you walk the plank today.

Talk soon,
First Mate Heather
 
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